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chef's blog

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I could barely sleep last night. I'd been hearing about this day for about a year and yesterday I read that it was finally happening. Today is a big day for my household as well as the City of Raleigh’s recycling program. After a loud commotion this morning, I looked outside to see my shiny, new, full-sized, blue rolling recycling cart. No more of those little green bins that are broken and don’t hold nearly enough waste, even for someone like myself in a household of only one. 



This is hard to do but I think admission is a good starting point. That being said...Hi. My name is Daniel and I am addicted to BLT's. Like any addict I have some points to bring up in my defense and to clarify my situation. 

First, for me, it's more about the T than the B & the L. (Don't get all crazy on me "bacon people")

I don't eat tomatoes all year long in anticipation of the first ripe tomato coming off our farm field. My cravings were particularly tough this summer because most tomato crops were damaged from the heavy rains. Our vines were delayed and we didn't have a lovely, ripe tomato until July 29. There were definitely several occasions where i almost cracked and tried some subpar product. 

Once the tomatoes begin producing, my cravings don't just grow in to addiction. No, I immediately hit rock-bottom for the length of the tomato season. That's about 6 weeks of hardcore, daily over-indulgence. When i run out of tomatoes, my detox begins. 

Lastly, I BLT at least once a day. Sometimes, if i'm feeling crazy, two or even three times in one day. 

Recipe from The Food Network



  • 1/2 cup prepared falafel mix
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, tenders removed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 3 Kirby cucumbers, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill fronds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 lemon


This menu is only for those not intimidated by all things kitchen. Delicious, we promise, but this one will take some work! Click the names captions below each image to view the recipes. Happy cooking and eating!

Roll Tide Cocktail . . . in celebration of a great season!

By Lu Brow of the Swizzle Stick Bar


  • 1 ounce Southern Comfort
  • 1 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • .5 ounce sweet and sour mix
  • .5 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 drops Fee Brothers orange bitters


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Awwwwwww . . .

Need an easy, on the go breakfast or snack? Keep things local, healthy, and delicious with homemade yogurt topped with your favorite fruits, NC pecans, honey, you name it! 

Directions for making homemade organic yogurt from Eat Local Grown

Prepare the milk base:

Pour 1 quart of farm fresh milk into a clean 4 quart saucepan, and turn heat to medium-high.  When the milk starts to heat, you'll want to stir with the whisk fairly constantly to prevent scorching.  While waiting for the milk to heat, gather items for the yogurt "nest."  The nest will provide an ideal environment for the yogurt cultures to grow. To prepare the “nest," set out an electric heater, grab a big towel handy, and set out a clean 1 quart jar. Set out 2 tablespoons of yogurt starter to bring it to room temperature. If you’re working with frozen cubes, set them in a small container near where you’re heating the milk. They will thaw quickly.

Recipe from bonappetit

For a simple dinner, present this flavorful soup with some warm crusty bread and a mixed green salad.

Yield: Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled turnips
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled rutabagas
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled russet potatoes
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 4 14 1/2-ounce cans vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth



  • 2 oz. Baileys Mint Chocolate Cream Liqueur (per drink)
  • 4 oz Hot Chocolate (per drink; follow step 1 and 2 below to make)
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 quart milk
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (3 ounces)
    • 7 peppermint sticks; 3 crushed (1/4 cup), 4 left whole
    • pinch of salt
  • Whipped Cream 
  • Candy Cane